Depression among Recipients of Informal Care: The Effects of Reciprocity, Respect, and Adequacy of Support

Jennifer L. Wolff, Emily M. Agree

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objectives. The objective of this work was to examine the relationship of perceived quality of care to depression among recipients of informal long-term care. Methods. Generalized estimating equations were used to generate population-average logistic regression models of prevalent depression, using a sample of 420 disabled community-dwelling women aged 65 or older receiving informal care obtained from the Women's Health and Aging Study Caregiving Survey. Results. Findings confirm a substantial prevalence of depression among older women with disabilities and support the hypothesis that perceived reciprocity and respect afforded by one's primary caregiver as well as adequacy of instrumental support all were associated with a lower likelihood of being categorized as depressed, even after controlling for sociodemographic, health, and psychosocial characteristics that are known to be related to depression. Discussion. Perceived quality of informal care arrangements has a bearing on the psychological health of care recipients. Individuals in more reciprocal relationships and in relationships where they felt respected and valued were less likely to be depressed than their counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S173-S180
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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